Posts Tagged ‘Peter Burrows’

Book News & Good Reads

December 13, 2008

Apologies for not posting that much lately. In New York, the pace slows down in December. And the imperatives of the holiday season take over. (Yes, I am a last-minute gift getter!)

First, some good news on the book front. I have been invited to give a talk at Stanford University’s Entrepreneurial Thought Leader Seminar next Feb. 4. I am really excited about that invite given the high quality of speakers (Vinod Khosla, Judy Estrin and Guy Kawasaki recently spoke) and the role that Stanford has played in the birth of Silicon Valley.

I have also been invited to give a talk at my alma mater–UC Berkeley. On Feb. 5, I will be speaking at the Lester Center for Entrepreneurship & Innovation of Berkeley’s Haas School of Business.

Finally, I want to give a few shout-outs to my colleagues at BusinessWeek who wrote some great stories this week illustrating our global reach and collective intelligence. Check out the following:

* New York online writer Arik Hesseldahl’s Tech Trends to Expect in 2009
* European correspondent Jennifer Schenker’s piece, Alcatel-Lucent’s Perpetual Turnaround
* Silicon Valley bureau writer Peter Burrows on Elevation Partners problems with its Palm investment.

What Recession?! Apple Holds the Line on MacBook Prices

October 15, 2008

My colleague Peter Burrows, who knows Apple as well anyone journalist, covered the launch of the new Apple MacBooks.

Recession be damned. So far, Apple is holding the line on its premium pricing. Still, Burrows concludes: “There’s more Mac for the money.”

Read the whole story here.

What’s Behind the iPhone’s Glitch

August 15, 2008

My colleague Peter Burrows wrote an interesting story yesterday explaining why Apple’s iPhone seems to have come down with a dropped call problem.

The culprit? Those damn computer chips. In this case, Burrows reports that it’s a “communications chip made by Munich-based Infineon Technologies (IFX). Faulty software on the chip causes problems when the iPhone needs to switch from wireless networks that allow for faster Web downloads to slower ones, the people say. ”

Click here to read the rest of the story.

Two quick and related thoughts:
1. This is good news for RIMM. Any reports of problems with the basic functionality of the iPhone will give some people pause before investing in a new device, however cool it is.

2. This is a negative for Apple’s efforts to make inroads with corporate buyers. CIOs want reliability and don’t want to be bothered with phone calls from irate execs complaining that their iPhone keeps dropping calls. That’s partly what got Sprint into hot water. If these problems persist, RIMM’s Blackberry will be seen as the IBM of mobile computing, a safe choice, as in no CIO ever got fired for buying Blackberries.

Can Apple’s iPhone Crack the Corporate Market?

March 6, 2008

Today, Apple’s Steve Jobs is expected to announce a strategy to use its Web-browsing iPhone to move into the corporate market. Shares of Blackberry maker RIMM dropped 4% yesterday on the expectation.

The iPhone is a great consumer product, no doubt. But there’s a lot of reasons to believe that Apple won’t have nearly as much success nearly as soon as it has achieved in the consumer market. My colleague Peter Burrows wrote a smart skeptical analysis of the iPhone prospects and challenges in penetrating Corporate America. The challenges include:

– Apple needs to build up credibility with corporate buyers after years of largely ignoring them.
– Apple may have to change its business model to cater to their needs, and it’ll have to be more open with partners, so independent software developers can create applications for the iPhone that corporations want.
– To take on RIM, experts say Apple will need to develop server technology far more complex than what it has today.
– The iPhone’s keyboard may need a rethink.

Even though I too am skeptical of this venture, I think it is a smart long-term strategy. I just think the financial returns won’t materialize for a while as Apple retools its operations to cater to the far more demanding road warriors and executives in corporations.

On the other hand, I believe RIMM’s moves downstream into the consumer market are already bearing fruit. Over the last few months, I’ve noticed a lot of friends and colleagues buying the new Pearl or Curve smart phones, or expressing an interest in buying one. So this seems like more of a buying opportunity for RIMM.

What do you think?

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